Sunday, May 4, 2008

Where's My Cult Hero?

The sound of jaws dropping could have overcome a space shuttle launch after Miley Cyrus sat, "tousled, wrapped with a blanket" on the cover of Vogue magazine. See, Cyrus is Hannah Montana, a Disney Channel program aimed at elementary school children. Not only that, she is 15.
Sure, other cover-girls such as Maria Sharapova or Scarlett Johansson barely have 5 years on the Disney starlet, but as I suspect many a parent will attest to, those are 5 definitive, changing years. Gone are the days of taking the cute little kid to the park. These are the days when, so I hear, parents are fretting about just how much skin little Annie is baring to the boys tonight. I'm not really qualified to comment further on that perspective though, for I am neither a parent nor a teenage girl. If anything, I fit into the demographic that Cyrus is surely switching to: I am a teenage boy. Wow. I can even here the Jaws theme tune.
Here's the thing. The adult world is making a huge fuss over a skimpily dressed teenager. Yes, she's a rich, famous teenager, but a teenager nonetheless. If you happen to walk in on a high school party, you can bet that upwards of 50% of skin is on display. Even when drink factors in, unwanted lifeforms are an extremely rare occurrence. Too bad for us teenagers that Jamie Lynn had to go and get us a bad name. Gee, thanks, Mini-Britney.
So back to the cause of the Cyrus uproar. Whilst in Hannah Montana mode, Cyrus teaches little kiddies how to live a good, wholesome lifestyle. Parents are grateful for this popular guidance, and in some ways have themselves become hooked on Miley's magic. As Montana, she shows America's 30-40 somethings that its all going to turn out OK. So when she turns out more or less nude on the Vogue, those lingering fears that all girls -that is what Cyrus has come to represent- will eventually sway from the straight and narrow appear to have been confirmed. Never mind that Cyrus, like all teenagers, just wants to have a little rebellious fun. So ingrained has Cyrus become in pre-teen culture that anything untoward that may come her way could drastically increase the grey hair count of the USA.
By this point, you'll either have noticed my sarcastic tone or proven that might want to look into a community education course. However, there are some serious issues surrounding Miley's appearance on the cover of Vogue. Firstly, why was a 15 year old allowed to appear in a state of undress on the cover of one of America's most lewd magazines? She may just barely be a teenager, but she is supported by a phallanx of grown adults. Even if they're in it for the money, this more or less amounts to child pornography, a felony. Apparently though, it's "artsy, not skanky," according to Cyrus. Sorry there, dear, but you're wrong. I would post the *widely available* picture, but that would be in contravention of my beliefs.
Even so, the cult reliance upon Miley/Hannah for advice has got to stop. If parents are up in arms over the influence the photo will have on their offspring, this is a sure sign that things have gone a step beyond popularity. In any case, very few children live a life comparable to Cyrus, so projecting your own child's future on that of a child star seems naive. Anyway, I doubt anything will happen to her. She's ugly.

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